Archive for fairness

The GOP's Women's Offensive Offensive (NSFW)

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War on Women

So the GOP feels that they need help connecting with women. They're not alone. So do women -- and in a very big way.

HuffPo:

A majority of Americans -- especially female ones -- think the Republican Party is out of touch with women, according to a poll released Friday by CNN/ORC.

Fifty-five percent of Americans, including 59 percent of women, say the GOP generally does not understand the problems and concerns of women.

That amazing set of numbers should send off some alarm bells. You bet. The RNC Chairman Reince Preibus, has heard them, loud and clear. He's been organizing sensitivity training for his 92% male GOP national office holders -- of course this is all voluntary. It's only if they need it. And if you ask any Republican in either house of congress, they don't need it. They already are sensitive to women's issues. Funny how the Republican track record doesn't quite reflect that though. 

Can't you tell? Maybe looking at this chart will prove that point -- not!

Total Senate
100 (53D, 45R, 2I)
Women
20 (16D, 4R)
Total House
435 (201D, 234R)
Women
 78 (59D, 19R), plus 3 (3D) Delegates

The Democrats have three times more female representatives in the House and four times as many in the Senate. If women are more than half the total US population, isn't it clear there's a political disconnect between parties?

Here are some of the reasons women voters are staying away from the misogynistparty. The GOP has stopped the Paycheck Fairness Act which would mandate that women and men doing the same job and with the same seniority get paid the same amount.

The GOP has pushed through a bill that makes it a fire-able offence to inquire or discuss one's pay rate at work. In other words, they don't want workers to know what their equals are getting so they can report underpayments or make inquiries about their remuneration.

Oh, and how about the GOP "inserting" themselves between female patients and their doctors, forcing transvaginal ultrasounds, unnecessary procedures relating to abortion, and closing down or making access to abortion clinics nearly impossible in those states that still have any?

Let's not forget that the Republicans in the House are against raising the minimum wage. That's actually another gender issue as women are 47% more likely to hold a job that pays minimum wage than men according to The Week.com.

Did I forget the voting restrictions they're instituting in Republican-led states now requiring two forms of ID? Most women in this country change their last names to their husband's when they marry. Many times this results in a birth certificate with one last name, and a driver's license with another. Because of this discrepancy, despite having been allowed to vote for 20 or 30 years at the same polling site, women must now file a conditional ballot -- oftentimes not even counted after the polls close. Don't believe me? Ask Wendy Davis, a high profile, sitting Texas state senator who had to file a provisional ballot and face a possible recall to the polls two days later to prove she's really who she says she is.

The GOP has a funny way to entice female voters. It's like spousal abuse. They beat the shit out of them, treat them worse than dogs, then threaten to retaliate against them if they don't follow their orders. The fact that they have any female constituency in the Elephant Party is quite amazing. When you have to offer sensitivity lessons to your elected membership, you're definitely admitting you're doing something wrong.

Look at what the GOP's other majordomo has to say about the connection gap between his party and women:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in December that his fellow Republicans were making progress, but that "there are a lot more females in the Democratic caucus than there are in the Republican conference. And some of our members just aren't as sensitive as they ought to be."

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How Out Of Step Is The GOP On Economic Equality?

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Evidently, according to a recent Pew Poll, the choice of whether you're rich or not is up to you. Yes, it's a choice according to the GOP. And who better to understand business and the economy than the Grand Old Party? Economics and defense are considered to be their hallmark strengths.

So, let's see whether we're rich or poor, lavishing in riches or struggling in destitution is a choice. (A hint: being poor to a Republican is like being gay to Ellen DeGeneres -- it's a choice.)

Here's some number collection from Pew Research (Jan 15-19, 2014):

WHICH HAS MORE TO DO WITH WHY A PERSON IS RICH:

Total     Rep.    Dem.   Ind.

Works harder than others:

 38%      57%     27%    37%

He/She has more advantages:

Total     Rep.    Dem.   Ind.

51%       32%     63%    52%

WHICH IS MORE TO BLAME FOR BEING POOR:

Total      Rep.   Dem.   Ind.

Lack of Effort:

35%      51%     29%     33%

Circumstances beyond control:

Total     Rep.    Dem.   Ind.

50%     32%     63%     51%

FAIR ECONOMIC SYSTEM IN AMERICA:

Total     Rep.    Dem.   Ind.

Fair:

36%      53%     25%    35%

Favors wealthy:

60%     42%      75%    60%

Can get ahead if work hard:

60%     76%      49%    59%

Hard Work no guarantee of success:

38%      20%     48%    39%

There you have the numbers. What stands out is that the Republicans think it's lack of initiative that causes poverty and low wages. Tell that to the full-time workers who struggle with minimum wage -- an issue the Republicans are reluctant to bring to a vote to raise. Our problems are jobs. More specifically good paying jobs. But to put that movement on the right path, we need to start by raising the minimum wage to make it a livable wage. That's something the Republicans just don't get.

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Only Today, 2014, Has A Federal Court Ruled To Let LGBT Jurors Hear Trials

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What's next for the right-wing conservatives to try in making this country fair for only white, Christian, and homophobic citizens? Why the justice system, of course. If you can't get a law passed banning anything that prohibits them from excluding balanced, fair or common sense thinking in the jury room, these narrow-minded conservatives may face extinction. And they're not going down without a fight.

Here's the latest from the LA TIMES:

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court became the first in the nation to rule that prospective jurors may not be excluded because of their sexual orientation, a decision that expands juror protections beyond race and gender and provides legal ammunition to challenge laws that limit gay rights.

The sweeping, unanimous decision Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a mixed jury verdict in an antitrust case involving an AIDS drug. The 9th Circuit said the case would have to be retried because an obviously gay juror was unjustifiably excluded from the jury.

Truthfully, I had never heard of the jury system excluding people for sexual orientation, but evidently I was just unaware. Here we are in 2014 and someone's sexual direction could be used against them in a court of law. I know accused criminals have the right to remain silent, but evidently those determining their guilt were supposed to exclude themselves if the crime was federal.

But really there's two issues that I've put in bold print that I find nothing short of amazing. To start with, this case quoted above is the FIRST in the nation to make this discriminatory ruling out of bounds. Really? Only now?

And the second issue is the more important one. "...an obviously gay juror" -- what's an obviously gay juror? Did he/she wear make-up? Did they hit on the same-sex foreman? Did they have a membership card they were flaunting in the RuPaul fan club? What makes someone "obviously gay?"

That's the amazing part of this outrageous but eye-opening story. Until now, if someone looks differently than another person and fits a stereotypical image, they can be excluded from a jury? And according to the article, part of which is quoted below, they still can be.

Lady Justice

I thought justice was blind. Look at Lady Justice balancing her scales. Did you notice something else about her? She's blindfolded. There's a reason for that.

Thankfully the 9th federal circuit court of  appeals court made this first in the nation, unanimous finding. But it only deals with a small portion of this country. It's not national.

Tuesday's landmark ruling extended the restriction to federal courts in California and courts in eight other Western states, lawyers said.

Now let's wake up the rest of the nation. Justice is seriously being challenged.

This particular case had to do with an antitrust lawsuit involving an AIDS drug. For that reason alone, the "obviously gay" juror was dismissed. We allow doctors to sit as jurors on medical trials. We allow lawyers to sit on juries despite perhaps having knowledge not admissible to lay jurors. Why can't we have LGBT jurors sitting in on any case of any origin in any area, AIDS related or not? Aren't they people too?

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Pope Francis Condemns Most Republicans, Especially Paul Ryan

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis has made all kinds of news since he became the Holy See. Whether it's embracing a boil-covered disfigured man, or speaking out on tolerance for homosexuality or most recently on the economy, a call in trouble brings Papa on the double. There's no doubt this soft-spoken pontiff is using his bully pulpit to inspire and in some cases, enrage his flock. And humanity and humility are being best served.

Of his latest target, the Pope is concerned that Capitalism is out of control. It's breeding contempt for the poor while promoting the enrichment of the elitists. He particularly singles out the turning of the collective backs of the capitalists and budget cutters on the poor. Who are these betrayers of human decency? The Republican party in the United states. And who is the contemporary Judas Iscariot? Paul Ryan.

Take a look at a few of the recent quotes from the man in the big pointed hat in his just-issued Apostolic Exhortation. He addresses the global debate about inequality:

"Today, and it breaks my heart to say it, finding a homeless person who has died of cold, is not news. Today, the news is scandals, that is news, but the many children who don't have food - that's not news. This is grave. We can't rest easy while things are this way."

The "cult of money" is tyrannizing the poor and turning humans into expendable consumer goods.

Now if you want to look at the GOP's recent Pope of capitalism, the corrupt but sanctified hero of the Republicans, Ronald Reagan put forth the policy which became knows as "Trickle Down Economics." It started us on the downward into the death spiral where we find ourselves today. And how does Pope Francis view Reagan's fairy tale plan for economic growth?

"Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."

Do you hear that Catholics in Congress? This man is your spiritual leader. Do you wish to believe the Gipper who was a sinner or Francis who is the Pope?

He's talking to all of us, Jew and Gentile, in the Apostolic Exhortation but especially to you Republicans who consistently seek to harm and punish the poor, the young, the elderly and those who try, but cannot succeed because of your oppressive ways.

These are not the protests and warnings of some mad, 14th century mind. This pope has actually acclimated to modern ways to reach the world with public appearances, television addresses and even Twitter.

@Pontifex
Pope Francis

How marvelous it would be if, at the end of the day, each of us could say: today I have performed an act of charity towards others!

Well all you GOP mindless zombies who believe the only purpose for a budget is slash it of every social service. Is that how your God teaches you? Not mine.

Now Paul Ryan and your co-horts, remind me again about joining a move to not only blunt a raise in minimum wages, but in some case even proposing doing away with a minimum wage all together. Here's how Francis sees that:

"Not paying fairly, not giving a job because you are only looking at balance sheets, only looking at how to make a profit. That goes against God!"

Here's another tweet that is meant for you:

@Pontifex
Pope Francis

My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centred mindset bent on profit at any cost.

Ah, but the Pontiff doesn't stop there.

@Pontifex
Pope Francis

Prayer, humility, and charity toward all are essential in the Christian life: they are the way to holiness.

And here's a final tweet that should cause you to wake up and realize you're committing crimes against humanity in the eyes of your holy leader.

@Pontifex
Pope Francis

The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty.

We here in America want a great society (thanks LBJ and now Pope Francis). That's not what we're getting from our 113th Congress, especially the Tea Party heathens who claim their part of the the religious right but are actually full-blown hypocrites, one and all. I find no fault having beliefs of any kind. I gladly accept atheism which seems void of most established beliefs which is a belief, in and of itself. What I do fault is those who harm others under the name of religion yet who don't even know they're breaking their own tenets. Those are the living lost souls. Those are the Republicans who deny aid to those in need.

Life for most is too short. Yet for a growing number its far too long as they suffer every moment in poverty, sickness, joblessness and GOP-austerity. Their torment seems to never end exacerbated by seeing the stock market rise to record numbers while our the GOP denies aid to our poorest.

Wake up Congress. Join the world's 1.21 Billion Catholics who are being told to stop worshiping false idols of capitalism and let faith and charity lead the way. You may not become richer in money, but you will in humanity. Stop the GOP hate machine and do something positive -- for a change. The party of "no" must become the party of "no longer out of service."

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ALL Is Okay in Oklahoma

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Oklahoma Air Force BaseYou know how some people see the glass as half empty while others see it as full. Well, there's a universal solution to this age old dilemma. Don't see the glass at all. Such is the case in the Sooner State, Oklahoma.

Mary Fallon is the governor of one of four hold-out states, firmly against recognizing same sex marriage in the military. She even points out that it's the law in her state that same sex marriages are prohibited, so she feels she's in the right there.  Okay, I can see her dilemma. State vs. Federal. There's definitely a difference of opinion. But in this case, the military, including the National Guard falls under a larger umbrella of the Federal Government. Oh, the National Guard may be state controlled, but it's final orders must be approved by the Federal Department of Defense. Just ask all of those guardsmen and women who are serving over in Afghanistan right now. Their states didn't call them up, the U.S. did.

Despite a reprimand from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expounding the military rules now fully accept and acknowledge same sex marriages, the individual states can't discriminate against them and must let all military, including the national guard, have full access to all military services and benefits. Anything less would be discrimination.

This didn't fall on deaf ears in Governor Fallon's state, which BTW is home to six military bases (including two Coast Guard - yup, in this land-locked state).

Sister, er, Governor Mary F's totally against discrimination. So she took immediate action. She's not going to single out same sex marriages and legal civil unions. She's going to restrict state services to ALL marriages, straight or gay. So now, if you're stationed in Oklahoma, and have a legal  marriage or civil union, NO SERVICES by the state will be provided for you or your family. The governor has spoken. There will be no discrimination in her state. If you're married to anyone of any gender, you're out of luck. Single soldiers don't have to worry. They can still utilize state facilities under their military identification.

You gotta hand it to Marriage-minded Mary. In her spite of being told what to do against her will, she's not only lopped off her nose but also her entire head. She's a total moron. Here's how the wonderfully apoplectic Rachel Maddow summed it all up.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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What's Fair Is Fair

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goose and gander

Harry Reid and Senate Democratic leaders have indicated they're in no rush to bring the legislation sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to the floor. It was passed in the House on Friday and it had 39 Democrats who voted for it.

John Boehner is making noise that he's upset that the Senate won't bring the bill up for a vote. And you know what, I think he has a point. What's the worst that can happen, it gets passed?

But... I love when there's a but -- but in order to bring up that vote onto the senate floor, Boehner has to agree to bring up the immigration bill that he's refused to put to a vote. He's afraid it'll pass and he should be afraid (as well as ashamed). And like I said with Reid's stance, "what's the worst that can happen, it gets passed?"

The difference here is that both bills, in order to take effect, will need to get the President's signature. He'll surely sign an immigration bill. He most likely won't sign an Obamacare fix like the one that Fred Upton got through the House. That means it'll be sent back needing two thirds of the vote for an override of the President's veto. That'll never happen.

So maybe turnabout is fair play. Harry Reid should do a quid pro quo. I'll put the Upton bill on the floor for a Senate vote if Boehner does the same with the Senate-passed immigration bill.

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The Dems hold all the cards. And if they vote to pass the Upton bill in the Senate, the Dems who vote for it will have cover back home, and the President can take the heat for vetoing the bill. Everyone wins. Obama's not running for reelection. Republicans hate him anyway so he can't benefit or lose by a veto. And it he plays his cards right, he won't even have to change the ACA to allow people to accept sub-standard policies, even for one year. (So take that Bill Clinton). By the time the 2014 mid-terms come around, the public will be happy with Obamacare, they will also have forgotten the Republican government shutdown, and the Dems and Repubs will be fighting over some other issue, perhaps even a second government shutdown which they're threatening already.

I like the Democrats chances if that happens. One shutdown you might be able to fend off. But two? Speaker Boehner's day with the gavel might just be numbered, and counting down quickly.

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Undying Dedication To A Cause

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Naomi Jakobsson,

She said goodbye to her terminally ill son as she fled off to the state house to cast her vote for a cause that she and her family felt so strongly about-- legalizing same-sex marriage.

Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, a Champaign Illinois Democrat, rushed to the state capitol in Springfield to vote on the measure. With her support, the bill was approved with 61 votes in favor -- only one more than the minimum it needed in order to pass. It was her vote that mattered.

When Jakobsson returned to the Mattoon, Ill. hospice where her dying son, Garret, was staying after a 90-minute drive, she learned he had died just 10 minutes before her arrival, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Garret had seven brothers and sisters. He and his wife, Liz, also had a 10-year-old son named Gunnar. Garret was adopted from South Korea in 1968, according to the AP.

All of Garret's family was with him as he took his last breaths are reportedly slipped away peacefully. But how tragic that his mother couldn't be with him for the end. She put courage, faith and compassion above family. She is a true Democrat. Is there one Republican who would have done the same?

It was reported that it was Jakobsson's son Garrett who told his mother to go to cast her vote. If it wasn't something so meaningful, she'd never have left his side. She left with hopes she could go, vote, and return in time. That sadly was not going to be the case.

There are a lot of people in Illinois, today and in the future, who owe their happiness to Representative Naomi Jakobsson. A truer champion for the LGBT cause would be hard to find.

Condolences to the family and congratulations to the state to have such a dedicated civil servant.

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